Turmeric essential oil is obtained from the rhizome of the turmeric plant (Curcuma longa Linn.) belonging to the family Zingiberaceae. It is mainly obtained by steam distillation, supercritical fluid extraction, solvent extraction, and hydrodistillation. The color of the oil is yellow to light brown viscous liquid. It is extensively used as a flavor ingredient in major food products including alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages because of beneficial compounds like sesquiterpene, ketones, β-, and ar-turmerone. Turmeric oil health benefits are anti-inflammatory, analgesic & antifungal. Treats respiratory , skin problems, arthritis & malaria.
Turmeric has been used traditionally as a medicinal herb in India and South East Asia for 4000 years. It is mainly used for biliary disorders, anorexia, coryza, cough, hepatic and rheumatic ailments and a variety of other chronic inflammatory diseases. It probably reached China by 700 AD, East Africa by 800 AD, West Africa by 1200 AD, and Jamaica in the eighteenth century.
This oil is native in the south and southeast tropical Asia, has great importance in medicine, condiment, and cosmetic industries.
Constituents of Turmeric oil
Turmeric oil (5–8%) contain α-phellanderene (1%), sabiene (0.6%), cineol (1%), borneol (0.5%), zingiberene (25%), and sesquiterpines (53%), etc. Furthermore ar-tumerone (49.1%) followed by curlone (16.8%), α-phellandrene (5.3%), ar-curcumene (3.5%), eucalyptol (2.6%), β-sesquiphellandrene (1.8%), β-caryophyllene (0.8%), β-bisabolene (0.6%), and δ-3-carene (0.3%) also found in this oil (1).
Health benefit of turmeric oil
Turmeric oil cures several diseases like arthritis, hemorrhagic shock, heart disease, aging, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, altered immunity, gastric ulcer, inflammation, cataract, and cancer, some of these benefits are as follows (2).
1. Antifungal properties
Ar-turmerone obtained from turmeric oil is effective against the growth of different fungi such as Aspergillus flavus, Fusarium semitectum, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and C. musae (3). Furthermore, turmeric oil sprays in the respiratory tract also effective against the virus, parainfluenza viruses I and III, respiratory syncytial virus, and adenoviruses (4).
2. Neuroprotective properties of Turmeric oil
It contains a good amount of turmerone, α-phellandrene, 1,8-cineole, ar-turmerone, and curlone which show wonderful effect for the treatment of central nervous system disorders like anxiety, depression and epileptic seizures. Thus turmeric oil exhibit hypothermic, sedative, anxiolytic and anticonvulsant properties (5).
3. Anticancer properties due to Curcumin and ar-turmerone
Turmeric oil acts as a powerful agent for prevention of inflammation-associated colon carcinogenesis (6). It also inhibits the growth of cancer cells, mutagenicity induced by different mutagens and protect the body (7).
4. Anti-inflammatory and Analgesic properties
Turmeric oil contains sesquiterpenes which show a beneficial effect on edema (swelling) and relieve pain. Therefore, turmeric oil possesses anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity (8).
5. Slows hair-growth and lightens skin in the armpit
Turmeric essential oil formulated as a lotion is an efficacious and safe inhibitor of axillary hair growth. Turmeric essential oil shows wonderful effect on brightened skin within 3 weeks and slows the growth of hair without any discomforts (9).
6. Antidermatophytic Properties
Ar-Turmerone found in turmeric oil (6% w/w) showed effective anti dermatophytic activity which is effective antifungal activity against tested dermatophytes, especially against Trichophyton rubrum (10).
7. Antioxidant properties
Turmeric essential oil is a rich source of ar-turmerone (61.79%), curlone (12.48%), and ar-curcumene (6.11%) which is found to have antioxidant activity, scavenging free radicals and inhibit lipid peroxidation (11).
8. Treat Malaria
Turmeric oil containing nanocapsules is very effective against Plasmodium berghei because it contains curcumin, which possesses low toxicity and a wide range of pharmacological activities, including anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antioxidant, and antiparasitic properties (12).
9. Treat Alzheimer’s dementia
A research study suggested that accumulation of amyloid-β peptide is associated with Alzheimer’s dementia, however, a mixture of sesame extract and turmeric oil is very helpful to improve the bioavailability of sesamin and sesamolin which further inhibit β-secretase activity and protect from Alzheimer disease (13).
10. Gastroprotective properties of Turmeric essential oil
Oral administration of turmeric essential oil contains the ability to reduce ethanol-induced lesions such as necrosis, erosion, and hemorrhage of the stomach. Therefore, turmeric oil reduces the gastric ulcer, antioxidant enzymes such as GPx, SOD, catalase, and GSH and protect from gastric ulcer (14).
11. Antidiabetic properties
Ar-Turmerone, curcuminoids, and sesquiterpenoids present in turmeric oil inhibit glucosidase enzymes like α-glucosidase and α-amylase activity. Thus turmeric oil lowers blood glucose level and exhibits hypoglycemic effects (15). Furthermore, turmeric oil prevents the development of thrombotic complications associated with insulin resistance by modulating genes involved in lipid and glucose metabolism (16).
12. Treat respiratory diseases
Inhalation of turmeric oil is very effective in removing sputum, relieving cough and preventing asthma. Therefore, turmeric volatile oil may be an efficacious drug for the treatment of respiratory diseases (17).
13. Treat rheumatoid arthritis
Turmeric essential oil is nontoxic inhibit joint swelling (90-100% inhibition) thus this oil may be useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), significant morbidity and mortality (18).
12. Antibacterial properties of Turmeric oil
ar-Turmerone, turmerone, and curlone which protect against different bacteria such as Bacillus cereus, Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (19).
Side effects of turmeric oil
According to the guidelines of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development confirmed that turmeric oil non-toxic and safe (20). But if you feel symptoms like allergic skin rashes, intercurrent fever should stop using turmeric oil (21).
1. Risk of contact dermatitis
Turmeric in massage oil may cause allergic contact dermatitis (hands, forearms, and dorsa of the feet) when applied to the skin (22). Furthermore, a person who is applied turmeric essential oil for osteoarthritis pain suffer itchy rash on the bilateral knees that subsequently spread to the neck, trunk, and arms and result from erythema multiforme- like allergic contact dermatitis. Thus, before application precaution should be needed (23).
Edited By: Dr. Asha Jyoti Bharati